A Guest!

Good morning, sweet soul! I hope you slept soundly and peacefully and awoke to lift you eyes to the early sunlight, thanking our Lord for this day. (more…)

Mixed Up/Messed Up–You, too?

Well, it’s been two weeks in the new-to-us old house and we’re thankful to be here, safe and sound. I’d attach a photo, but I’m not sure where my phone is at the moment, and I have no idea where a camera might be, if we even still have one! Suffice it to say that it’s a tan Cape Cod with black shutters and a steep, ivy-covered front yard. That sounds straight-forward, but there are things we’re learning about this little house; it seems to have its own sleepy personality–and a sense of humor.

We moved into cold-water-only plumbing, which we discovered when we tried the hot water. To be truthful, it was hot–but it was rusty. My husband, hot from unloading the truck, took a quick shower without turning on the light. When he came downstairs, I saw him and thought he’d gotten a tan! So, it was quick “cool” rinse-offs and “borrowing” showers at a relative’s house for a week. We choose to call it our summer adventure–and, thankfully, it ended happily: a new hot water heater was delivered and installed on my birthday!

Next, we learned all the locks turn backwards. You would’ve gotten a good laugh along with the family if you’d been with us this morning as we left for worship. There I was, the last man out, so to speak, fiddling with the key this way–then that–just trying to lock the back door. I’ve got the front door down though. Being left-handed, it kind of feels normal in a curious way.

We’ve done most of the unpacking and can almost find our way around in the dark without bumping into a precarious tower of boxes. Bathroom tiles (those timeless black and white patterns) have had a good cleaning, and we’ve made a initial attack on the weeds in the front yard. That all sounds good, doesn’t it? But there’s a DARK SIDE!! No, not really, but there IS more:

1. Boxes of books and boxes of pictures still wait for walls to be painted–and I can’t decide which color to choose! (Have you seen how many colors there are in your local home improvement warehouse??!!)

2. Amid the weeds was poison ivy–evil, stealthy, mean poison ivy. (Is there any other kind?) Despite my best attempts to avoid it, it got me and my arms bear witness.

3. And we’re still waiting on the “diverter” for the shower. Apparently, this piece makes all of the water go up to the shower head (the optimal plan) as opposed to letting half of the water still come out of the tub faucet.

Then what comes to mind? James! “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastnesses. And let steadfastnesses have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

So, I will look at the above 1, 2, and 3 items as :

1. I can choose cheerful colors to paint our walls!
2. There are fewer weeds–and cortisone cream!
3. We have warm water!

And above everything else, I have a heavenly Father who loves me and sent His Son to die for me, poison ivy and all. And you do, too, dear friend. Let’s choose joy!

The Blessing of Friends

IMG_1902Later this morning I’m meeting up with a dear, dear friend. We’ve known each other for many years, both being military families, but have only lived near each other again for the last 3 years.

Doesn’t God have a wonderful way of working things out? When I try to arrange plans (like an earlier meeting), snow falls and delays school openings. God, thereby, has allowed me a little time this morning to write, and I pray it is a blessing to you, my ChristBesideMe friend.

When I was teaching our daughter to drive, we lived near an area that was a Neighborhood-to-Be. There were streets. There were curbs. There were roundabouts. There were weeping willows and oaks and pecans. There was even a fountain. Along the streets, at even intervals, were wooden markers denoting where a future house could be built, but there weren’t any so far.

My daughter drove through and around and down all of those streets (and I lessened my grip on the armrest!) as she became a very good driver. More than just driving though, we had a wonderful time. As we passed each marker, we would assign that location to a family of friends that we loved. Let’s drive by the Millers. Let’s pick up Sarah and go see Nancy. And so we filled up the neighborhood, one imaginary house at a time. It was a glimpse of heaven.

Until then, let’s give a hug to our earthly friends and offer a thankful prayer to our heavenly Father for each one of them. Let’s close our eyes and imagine. Can you see us there? Can you see us all together, all worshipping Jesus?

Because God is holy, we–who are sinful people–are in enmity or opposition to God. Yet God loves each of us so very much, that He acted to reconcile us to Himself through His son and the cross. Accepting this reconciliation, we now know God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our friend–and that is the blessing of our Very Best Friend!

What a vision all that is! But the clock chimes and reality barges in. It’s almost time to see that friend of mine, and I’m looking forward to it.

The blessing of friends. A glimpse of heaven. A gift from God. Our reconciliation. A reason for joy!